RTÉ Radio 1 and Late Late host extraordinaire Ryan Tubridy gave up his smartphone for the month of February in order to take part in a digital detox.
However, the deadline came and went and Tubridy has remained true to his new Nokia. Watch and read our chat with Ryan as he explains why he considers smartphones to be the new smoking.
We were talking on the radio about safety on smartphones for children and over the course of that debate, I found myself reflecting - reflecting on my reflection - and thinking, what is it about the phone that's so irritating?
And one of the things was, I had been talking to one of my kids, if not both of them, saying, 'girls, get off that phone' and they'd be looking [at me] going, 'but you're [on your phone] and I'd go, oh yeah, I forgot about that bit. I forgot about that hypocrisy bit so I thought, 'maybe I should detox a little bit off it'.
So I wasn't going to have no phone at all, that's stupid - that's just not going to happen but what I thought I could do was go back to ye olde phone because the smartphone - first of all, I think that's a misnomer now, I think it's just a phone, let's not give it illusions of grandeur.
I went back on this little Nokia 3310. I bought this, this isn't a plug. I actually spent money on this, I wanted this in my life and what it does is - it's an amazing piece of technology - it makes telephone calls but it also receives telephone calls which is pretty magic.
Bar two bean cans and a bit of string, this is the next best thing. You can send a text message, you can receive a text message and you can play Snake and that's pretty much it - that's what it does but that gives you an enormous amount of freedom.
You have more time in the day, more focus in your life and more consideration of things like the moon. I was driving to work one morning and it was quite dark and the moon was shining and really big and I was about to take a picture of the moon and I said, 'I have to take a picture of it' - because everything has to be photographed now.
Then I picked up my phone and I went, 'yeah take a picture with this [Nokia]? Forget about it. There's no heroin in the needle, there's no need to be looking at it [your phone]'. And I just went no, I'm just going to look at the moon and it's beautiful and it's the moon and then I stopped and kept going. So, you see more things, you admire more things.
Vegas in your pocket
I was 'off smartphones' for a month and I thought, 'I can go back on it now'. I transferred the sim card into the iPhone and it lit up and I went, 'oh, the noise, the noise, the white noise'. I knew there were hundreds of people in it tugging [at me] and I just thought, 'it's like Vegas in my hand - it's just vulgar and loud and irritating and fine for a weekend' but I quietly took the sim card out and put it back into my little dumb phone.
The first thing that happens when I produce this phone in company - is laughter - people roar laughing and go 'are you serious?'. Then I explain to them about sitting on the couch and watching things and really enjoying them [without my phone] and talking to the kids more and then people will say, 'yeah, but I need it for work'.
Funnily enough, if you leave your phone at home for a day by accident, it's amazing that you'll find that work - the building - doesn't collapse like the walls of Jericho and life will go on so you kind of create your own problems in some ways.
It's an addiction. It's the constant need to be on looking at, what is really, rubbish. So, the reaction I get really is mild envy nearly, a mild sense of, 'I'd love to do that' and I've heard a lot of people say, 'I'm definitely doing that' but do you know what they're doing? Not doing that but they want to and I don't blame them.
People have made up their mind that smartphones are the way forward and it's here to stay for them. They're kind of convincing themselves rightly or wrongly that it's the way go. I'm not sure if it's necessary. I don't think it's as necessary as people think it is.
I'm starting to treat phones in the house much like cigarettes were treated once upon a time. In other words, it's rude to smoke in front of somebody without asking permission, it's rude, it's not good for you to smoke that much - if at all - and it's unsociable if you're sitting on the couch and someone light's up.
I think this is the new lighting up and you're suddenly sitting there talking to a zombie who's disappeared down this rabbit hole and it's just rude and I hate that.
Kids will learn from the adults who are increasingly rude - we are. So what hope have we got? What hope has humanity? It's a horror show. So if you're watching a movie together, if you're watching Dancing with the Stars or whatever it is, your couch needs to be a no-smoking zone, it's a no phone zone.
There's no app for that
This little dumb phone was meant as a month-long detox and that was for the month of February and now we're pretty much April and I'm still on it. I don't miss the smartphone. The only thing I miss it for is a Taxi app or car parking - which is really handy - or the odd map but do you know what? You can buy an Atlas, you can walk to the machine and buy a ticket and you can put your hand up and order a cab so I can live without the apps.
Podcasts - I miss them a little bit but not enough to go back. The What's App Group is a problem because I definitely feel less social but you know, I'm here. Call me, text me, I haven't gone away you know?
It's just a very nice place to be and as to how long I can keep going with it, I'll just wait until eventually I'm told that the party is over and you have no one left to talk to. I don't anticipate going back anytime soon.